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Future Firefighters, Here’s Something For You

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Nov 162020
 

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department is accepting applications for its Junior FireFighter program for teens ages 16-18.
This is a great opportunity to get involved in your community and start a rewarding future in the fire service and set yourself up for a possible career in Fire and EMS. NOTE: Inclusion in this public service looks great on a college application.
For more information, and links to the application, visit https://orangevfd.org/juniors/

Surprised-Looking Pumpkin Wins First Orange Pumpkin Blaze

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Nov 152020
 

A surprised, one-eyed pumpkin won the People’s Choice Award at the Orange Volunteer Fire Department’s first pumpkin-carving contest.

Adria Boyle won the top prize. She carved the face into the surface of the pumpkin. And to make it just a little more Halloween-scary, the missing eye – a chunk of stringy pumpkin – sits on the bench in front of the winning gourd.

 

Other winners included:

Brynn Panapada, Happiest pumpkin

Kate Panapada, Cutest pumpkin

Chloe Clemens, Prettiest pumpkin

Helene Flynn, Best traditional pumpkin

Silas Hill, Most hungry pumpkin

Kaury and Ian Kucera, Most intricate pumpkin

Zoe Kucera, Most adorable pumpkin

Melissa Parniawski, Spookiest pumpkin

Orange Children’s Dentistry, Most unusual pumpkin

Mia Quoka, Most athletic pumpkin

Greyson Fatone, Most team-spirited pumpkin

All winners received a certificate and more importantly, had fun.

“We created this contest to give people a little extra fun during a Halloween season during which the nouveau coronavirus prevented a lot of traditional activities,” said Rob Panapada, the Orange firefighter who created and coordinated the program. “All the participants said they had a good time. We hope the Orange Pumpkin Blaze will become a new Orange tradition.”

Obituary: Elfo “Al” Pol, 94, Beloved Father, Grandfather, Town Treasure, Veteran

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Jun 232020
 

Elfo “Al” Sante Pol, 94, of Orange, husband of the late Anita De Mio Pol, passed away June 18, 2020, at his home surrounded by his loving family.

Loving father of Raymond Pol of Orange, Kenneth (Linda) Pol of Meriden, Andrew Pol of Milford, Michael (Laura) Pol of Onset, MA, Daniel (Laura Schumann) Pol of Washington, DC and the late Lawrence Pol. Brother of William F. Pol of Canoga Park, CA.

He also is survived by 7 cherished grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. Al was born in New Haven on January 2, 1926, a son of the late Pietro and Adele Fullin Pol.

After attending Boardman Trade School in New Haven, Al proudly served in the U.S. Army, 65th Infantry Division during WWII as a heavy machine gunner, cook, and divisional instructor in electricity and electronics and participated in the Rhineland and Central European campaigns.

He worked as an electrician for the New York-New Haven-Hartford, Penn Central, and Conrail Railroads for 40 years while also establishing an electrical contracting business. After retiring in 1985, he became the Town of Orange electrical inspector for 32 years, until retiring in 2018 at age 92. Al and his late wife Anita had never-ending civic pride for the Town of Orange, the place they called home for over 60 years.

He was an elected constable, rose early to work the election polls, and volunteered at the Orange Country Fair and Firemen’s Carnival. Even into his 90s, you could find Al marching in the Memorial Day Parades, typically as a Parade Marshal.

Al was a member of the Orange Volunteer Fire Department for 55 years, retiring at age 90 – after serving as a Captain, and more than 30 years as treasurer. A member of the American Legion Orange Post 127 for 56 years, serving many years as their treasurer and receiving the Legionnaire of the Year award in 2019.

Al played card games weekly throughout his life with family and friends. At the Orange Senior Center, he taught his favorite card game, bridge. Along with his passion for cards, he would enjoy a good book, a great movie, crossword puzzles, and Sudoku.

An avid sports fan, he enjoyed attending NY Yankee games and watching NY Yankees and NY Giants games with his sons.

Friends may call at the PORTO FUNERAL HOME, 830 Jones Hill Rd., West Haven, on Thursday, June 25, from 5-8 p.m., and are invited to go directly to Holy Infant Church Friday morning for a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Interment with military honors will follow in St. Lawrence Cemetery, 280 Derby Ave, West Haven.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Legion Post 127, 630 Grassy Hill Rd., Orange CT 06477. Sign Al’s guest book online at www.portofuneralhomes.net

Orange Fire Department Posts Funeral Arrangements for Fire Marshal Tim Smith

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Jan 222020
 

Hundreds expected to pay respects to fire marshal killed in the line of duty Sunday

Firefighters, police and municipal officials from across Connecticut and beyond are expected to pay their respects this weekend to Orange Fire Marshal Tim Smith, who died in the line of duty Sunday.

Working on behalf of the family, First Selectman James Zeoli, Orange Fire Chief Vaughan Dumas and Deputy Fire Marshal James Vincent laid out the plans to accommodate Smith’s family and members of the public safety community who wish to attend Friday’s wake and Saturday’s funeral.

Here are the details:

Wake – Friday, Jan. 24

Smith’s wake will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at the Cody White Funeral Home, 107 Broad Street, Milford. An honor guard is being provided by members of the Orange Fire Marshal’s Office and the Orange Volunteer Fire Association, as well as members from surrounding departments who worked with Smith. In addition, the Connecticut Statewide Honor Guard will be assisting.

Except for on-duty personnel, those attending the wake are asked to enter from the rear of the building. On-duty personnel can enter the front of the funeral home. They will be escorted to the front of the line so they can pay their respects and get back on duty.

Parking arrangements are:

  • The Cody-White parking lot (2) is reserved for the family and handicapped guests.
  • The public and individual firefighters are asked to park in the Milford Senior Center lot on Jepson Drive (3).  If the Jepson Drive lot fills up, additional parking will be available behind the Milford courthouse, 14 W. River St.  A shuttle bus will run between those locations and the funeral home.
  • Berchem Moses PC, attorneys, have made their parking lot at 75 Broad St. (4) available. It is designated for public safety chiefs with official cars and municipal officials.
  • On-duty personnel can park their vehicles on the eastbound side of Broad Street opposite the funeral home.

Because of the number of people expected, Nelson Ambulance will have an EMS unit standing by and Milford Fire will have their canteen truck available.

Funeral – Saturday, Jan. 25

Tim Smith’s life will be celebrated at a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Holy Infant Church, 450 Racebrook Road in Orange. Parking will be available at the church. If additional parking is needed, it will be available at Saint Barbara’s Church. Personnel will be on the scene to direct guests to parking. There is no graveside service.

A repast is scheduled after the funeral at the Racebrook Country Club, 246 Derby Ave.

As is the tradition for fallen firefighters, Smith will be transported from the funeral home to the church on the back of a fire engine, accompanied by an honor guard. Apparatus from many area departments are expected to be part of the procession. The funeral will feature bagpipers from three pipe-and-drum groups, a last dispatch to honor Smith, the ringing of a ceremonial fire bell and the presentation of a flag and Smith’s helmet to his family.

During the wake and funeral, firefighters from Ansonia, Oxford, North Branford and East Haven will be in Orange to respond to alarms.  AMR will post an ambulance near the church.

Smith was called to the scene of a house fire Sunday afternoon to investigate the cause. After he completed the investigation, he was headed home when he was killed in a one-vehicle motor vehicle accident. The crash is still under investigation by the Woodbridge Police Dept. and the Connecticut State Police accident reconstruction team.

“We are grateful for the outpouring of support from the fire and police departments in surrounding towns,” said Fire Chief Vaughan Dumas. “While we work to help Tim’s family and friends, including members of our own department and the Fire Marshal’s office, the sympathy, support and very real commitment of time and resources from these other departments is helping Orange firefighters pay tribute to Tim and mourn his loss.”

Major Intersection Closed Due To Accident

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Aug 202019
 

random file photo of a nighttime accident scene.

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department responded to an accident on Grassy Hill and Old Grassy Hill Roads around 8:15 p.m.

The accident reportedly involved a piece of farm equipment and emergency crews are dealing with chemical and fluid spills in the road, which is very near a watershed and popular fishing area.

The DEEP has been called and the road is closed and will be closed for quite some time.

Find an alternative route if you are headed to the Parkway or Route 34.

Give the crews some room to do their jobs and let others know if you’re aware of anyone that will be heading out that way.

 

Three Residents Evaluated For Smoke Inhalation In Orange

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Jun 022019
 

A fire in an unattended self-cleaning oven Saturday night caused damage to an Orange home and led to three people being evaluated for smoke inhalation.

Orange volunteer firefighters were called to 832 Quarter Mile Road in Orange shortly before 9:30 p.m. Saturday for a report of an oven fire. Firefighters discovered that the family had set the self-cleaning oven to clean and then left the house. When they returned, they found the house full of smoke and items in the storage drawer under the stove burning.

According to the fire chief, “The family called 9-1-1 and they were able to put out the fire and remove the storage drawer from the home. In doing so, however, they inhaled a lot of smoke, causing some health concerns.”

While some firefighters cleared smoke from the home, others performed an initial medical evaluation of the people who were in the home. The residents were further evaluated by American Medical Response personnel but declined to go to the hospital.

“Operating between 800 and 1,000 degrees, self-cleaning ovens are a great convenience, but should not be left unattended,” the chief said. “While some ranges have storage drawers underneath the ovens, homeowners should be certain that the drawer is indeed a storage drawer rather than a warmer or broiler. It can be confusing. And, like any other appliance, ranges need to be maintained and used following instructions.”

He said the fire resulted in damage to the oven and smoke damage to the kitchen. The Fire Department does not issue damage estimates and because Orange firefighters were involved in the medical treatment of the homeowners, their names were protected under federal patient privacy rules. The Orange Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the incident.

It’s The Time Of Year For Chimney Fires And Other Emergency Situations.

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Nov 252018
 

(Photo by OVFD)

On Sunday, Nov. 25 at around 4:30 p.m., the Orange Volunteer Fire Department responded to a chimney fire.

Engine 34, Ladder 37 and Car 2 arrived on the scene in 4 minutes and began dealing with the situation.

Engine 35 and Rescue 1 arrived shortly thereafter.

Firefighters worked inside the home and on the roof for about 45 minutes, isolating the fire to the chimney and fireplace, preventing the fire from spreading to the rest of the structure.

This is what our highly trained volunteer firefighters do, respond to every emergency where they are needed at any time of day, in all types of weather and taking care of the situation thoroughly and professionally.

Thank You OVFD for your selfless service.

OVFD Warns Of The Damage Live Wires Can Do

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Sep 042018
 

A live wire fire on New Haven Ave on Aug. 12.
(Courtesy OVFD)

A follow-up post from a fire call on Sunday, August 12, on New Haven Ave:

After about an hour of burning on the roadway, the UI was about to shut the power off to the line that had fallen and arched. This was the aftermath…crews emptied a tank of water onto the burning asphalt and still could not cool it enough. As you can see in the last photo, it even turned some of the asphalt and sand into glass!

This is a reminder that ANY lines you see that have fallen from the poles are to be treated as LIVE WIRES. This wire fire burnt a 12-foot line in the road, it could do much worse to someone who touches it or runs it over with their vehicle.

[From the OVFD Facebook Page]

Orange Fire Department: Unattended Candle Causes Basement Fire

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Jul 232018
 

On Sunday, July 22 at 2:41 a.m. the Orange Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to 786 North Greenbrier Drive for a fire in the basement called in by the homeowner.

C1 arrived on scene and found fire showing from a basement window.

The first crew inside was able to locate, isolate, and very quickly extinguish the fire with a water”ing” can.

The fire was confined to a bathroom where the homeowner had left a candle burning.

All of the residents were able to get out of the home prior to the firefighter’s arrival.

No injuries were reported.

Droning On In Orange: Fire And Police Train On A Valuable Tool

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Jul 132017
 

On Thursday, July 13, the Orange Fire Department hosted police and fire personnel from across the state in a special flight training program.

More than a dozen students participated in classroom and hands-on drone operation training. Experts were brought in to teach the class, which will culminate in a required Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) exam.

The men learned the ins and outs of drones and how to fly them safely, but not for play — for use on the job and at emergency scenes.

The weather was a factor in Thursday’s scheduled training, which was split between the air-conditioned room at Station 2 and out in the thick humidity at the Old Tavern Park baseball fields, where 3-4 drones could be flown at once before the rain began to fall.

Orange Fire Marshal Tim Smith said his office acquired a drone about a month ago utilizing grant money.

Drones have proved to be a valuable tool for fire departments, fire marshals’ offices, and police departments during emergency situations.

As a fire marshal, Smith said he can use the drone to fly over buildings to take aerial imagery for emergency planning to note what is on a roof, such as solar panels, HVAC systems, etc. In addition, they can fly over a large complex, such as a senior housing or shopping center and map out points of interest, including fire hydrants, sprinkler connections, and the locations of any hazardous tanks.

Drone operation also will be useful during fires and for fire investigations to get a different perspective that previously could only be done with a helicopter.

Smith said there are strict regulations in place for drone operation and on Friday, the class will be inside preparing to take the FAA Part 107 Airman’s exam.

Another class scheduled in the fall is already filled up, according to Smith.